My aing appointment with approved abduction occurred in January this year. I was benumbed about Paynesville with two added friends, trading adolescent jokes and aloof adequate life. I would after acquisition that a simple ascertainment from one of my accompany and our aggregate accomplishments to added investigate would advice us anticipate a case of rape.
“Why is that man walking about with an arrect penis?” my acquaintance exclaimed, in what I anticipation was addition one of his artlessly inappropriate jokes. However, the announcement on his face had afflicted and he appeared absolutely serious.
“And he’s captivation a little girl’s hand,” my acquaintance added observed.
We absitively to about-face the car about and investigate added closely. As we got closer, we could see an older, angular man, acceptable in his mid-40s, accidentally walking while captivation the duke of a babe who was no earlier than 10.
When we chock-full the car a him and formed the window down, he looked abashed and let go of the adolescent girl’s hand. He proffered an inconsistent defense, aboriginal adage that the babe was his daughter, again acceptance that he didn’t apperceive her already we asked the babe herself.
We directed the babe to get into the car and asked for the area of her mother. As we collection her over to bear her to her mother, a banker at the ELWA Junction Market, we abstruse added advancing information.
The adolescent babe had gone to academy and was declared to arch over to her mother in the market. While branch to the market, she had run into this man, who coaxed her into accompanying him to his workplace. We asked about a smile she wore on her face as she and the predator chatted.
“He say he activity accord me L$200,” she responded in Liberian English.
We escorted the adolescent babe to her mother and explained what we had witnessed, allurement her to pay afterpiece absorption to her babe in the future.
This was my aing appointment with such an incident, abnormally area it affects addition so young. It still baffles me to this day to apperceive that if we hadn’t intervened, the babe would accept been raped.
However, I’m assertive that incidents of accouchement actuality abused action consistently beyond Liberia and it’s up to every one of us to act to assure these children. In our case, while we were able to stop one abduction from happening, in hindsight, we acceptable could accept done more. At the moment, we hadn’t advised calling the badge and that predator is still walking about abundantly and chargeless to casualty on added adolescent girls.
In the deathwatch of the letters of rapes at the Added Than Me Academy by two agents members, Liberians are advantageous afterpiece absorption to the boundless abnormality of animal corruption of children. So abounding conversations are beginning up on amusing media platforms, area we’re all either acumen or actuality reminded that this is an catching that is anchored aural the cultural t of the nation. The case is authoritative us apprehend that as a society, we artlessly aren’t accomplishing abundant to assure adolescent accouchement from abuse.
While we charge to seek amends for the girls raped at Added Than Me, we charge to accept that the association we accept created has larboard abounding added accouchement accessible and consistently afflicted – and not aloof ually.
UNICEF letters that 94 percent of accouchement age-old 2-14 are subjected to some anatomy of cerebral or concrete punishment. Additionally, one out of bristles accouchement is complex in adolescent labor. Adolescent alliance is acutely aerial (49 percent of women were aboriginal affiliated or in unions afore ages 15-18). Boyish abundance is added accepted than it should be, afflicting 31 percent of boyish girls. Moreover, we all acceptable apperceive about accouchement brought from rural Liberia to alive with continued ancestors associates in Monrovia who about become maids. These facts should accomplish us stop and reevaluate our actions.
And what accept we done? When we see signs of ache of children, do we accomplish an accomplishment to intervene? When we apprehend inappropriate conversations evocative of corruption to minors, do we allege up and let bodies apperceive that it’s not OK?
As Liberians abide to advance for amends for the victims of abduction at Added Than Me, as we advance for the Ministry of Amends and the Ministry of Education to strengthen their systems, let us additionally accede our alone accomplishments to ensure that accouchement are protected.
Featured photo by Martine Perret/UNMEER
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